Next month, Nandita Das will quit her present tenure as the chairperson of the Children’s Films Society Of India (CFSI). Nandita wants to spend more time with her growing son Vihaan, who will turn two next month and focus on her debut as a director and actor in a play tentatively titled Black & White.
Nandita and her entrepreneur-husband Subodh Maskara will play husband and wife from the educated ‘enlightened’ section of the middle-class questioning their marriage. Says Nandita, “Subodh is making his acting debut with me in my play. It’s the first time I am writing and directing a play. I am relatively new to the medium. So it’s a blessing to have my husband on stage with me.”
This play is about a husband and wife discovering that their supposedly enlightened mature marriage is as much founded on biases and inequality as the marriages in the less educated classes where we normally identify discrimination in the treatment between husband and wife. “It’d be interesting for us as man and wife to explore marital inequality on stage,” says Nandita, whose play is all set for a September 22 debut in Delhi, followed by performances on October 6 and 7 in Mumbai.
Das has turned down the offer to continue her tenure, as she wants to spend more time with her son Vihaan, who will turn two in August. “For now, Vihaan is my priority. The time I can get to spend with him now will never return. Ever since my pregnancy and his birth, I have been juggling things — my work at CFSI to a monthly column for a magazine, and conducting talks and conferences abroad. I have even shot two films Hindi and Tamil.
“It has been extremely rewarding while it lasted. We’ve released Gattu, the first ever film from CFSI to get an organised all-India release. Our next film from the CFSI is Goopi Gawaiiya Bagha Bajaiiya, a Hindi animation film based Satyajit Ray’s Bengali classic by the same name. The film will take animation films in our country to another level. Incidentally Gulzar Saab has written a book on the same story with my film’s director Shilpa Ranade doing the sketches. So yes, I leave the CFSI with some sense of satisfaction,” she concludes.